Young Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan decides it's time for an adventure after he finishes his formal education, so he decides to try his luck in Uganda, and arrives during the downfall of President Obote. General Idi Amin comes to power and asks Garrigan to become his personal doctor.
The most frightening character in history is the man who smiles. A person who can slaughter thousands and torture even more, and be a joker, is appalling. Forest Whitaker presents Idi Amin, the horror of Uganda. He comes off as a charming, outgoing source of venom. Obviously, there are liberties taken that are there with any historical drama, but the recency of his reign give us more immediacy. It also can make it more likely to be attacked. There is no question about Amin, however.
Reviewed by SnoopyStyle7 / 10
the excellent Forest Whitaker
It's 1970. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) is a recent University of Edinburgh medical graduate who hates his dull prospects at home. He picks Uganda at random and dives in with both feet. He joins a clinic run by Dr. David Merrit (Adam Kotz) and his wife Sarah (Gillian Anderson). The country comes out of chaos under Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Nicholas is taken to treat Idi Amin after a minor car crash. Idi Amin loves Scotland and takes a liking to him.
I don't like Nicholas as a character. He rubs me the wrong way for some reason. He is arrogantly clueless which is the purview of the young. Other than that, this is a fine film. The performance from Forest Whitaker is especially excellent. He plays both the lovely charmer and the violent brute.
Reviewed by MartinHafer8 / 10
While far from a perfect film it is quite mesmerizing and you can't stop watching
THE LAST KING OF Scotland came on HBO last night and I had no intention in watching it then--just recording it to watch later. After all, it was late and the movie wouldn't be over until well after 2am. But, on a lark, I decided to at least watch the first 15 or 20 minutes. Over two hours later, I was watching the final credits--so much for "just watching a bit"! The reason I kept watching is because the film was very well constructed--especially in the first portion of the film. You KNOW had things are going to happen, but you find yourself seduced by Idi Amin's charm. So, just like the fictional doctor, you are carried along by the promise of a newer and better Uganda.
While I wasn't thrilled with basing the film around a fictitious man, perhaps this was best because many of the people around Amin at the beginning are dead and perhaps there weren't any real people that could have been an interesting anchor for the film. However, what I really didn't like was the plot involving this doctor becoming sexually involved with one of Amin's wives. It just seemed ridiculous that any couple would be THAT horny when it's obvious that Amin is a violent and unforgiving man. It made no sense at all and seemed like it was added in order to "sex up the film". It also took too much focus off Amin's madness and resulted in a bizarre scene near the end reminiscent of A MAN CALLED HORSE that also seemed unnecessary.
However, these concerns, though important, were not so bad as to seriously impact the film. Forrest Whitaker's performance was exceptional and the film was certainly exciting throughout. I highly recommend the film despite my few complaints, however I also highly recommend this film NOT be seen by kids or teens. It is a very hard R-rated film--with lots of unavoidable violence and lots of gratuitous nudity.